Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration 2008

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Discovering their Past for the Future

Monday, February 11, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Cook-Dewitt Center, Allendale Campus

Albert Yu Chang, attorney, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, Grand Rapids
Emmanuel Barias, MD, president, Asian Health Outreach Foundation, Grand Rapids
Pravina Ramanathan, Asian-American liaison, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Lansing

We live by stories and we connect by sharing stories. Join the panel discussion as three Asian Pacific American leaders in our community unveil their personal story and history through story telling, discussions and dialogues. They arrived to America as young immigrants starting a new life in a new country. Hopes, dreams and opportunities solidify their perseverance as they travel on a journey in pursuit of personal, educational, professional and humanitarian achievements.

Asian American Engagement in Philanthropic and Nonprofit Sectors

Tuesday, February 12, noon-1:00 p.m.
Kirkhof Center, room 204, Allendale Campus

Susan Morales-Barias, director, Nonprofit Leadership Institute, Grand Valley State University

Communities are becoming progressively more diverse; therefore, inclusive engagement is critical to the success of any community development and leadership program. This session will highlight the challenges and opportunities of engaging the diverse Asian American population in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership specifically in the areas of volunteering, giving and staffing. Research and study on the beliefs, attitudes and attributes of the Asian American community in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership will be presented. It will be followed by an interactive discussion on how to enhance engagement of Asian Americans.

Tuesday, February 12, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Kirkhof Center, room 215/216, Allendale Campus

Carissa Woodwyk, licensed professional counselor and limited licensed marriage and family therapist

Carissa Woodwyk, a Korean-born adoptee, joins us again this year for the second part of the Asian adoptee series. The workshop explores the fragile beginnings of an adoptee's life while discovering the truth and hope that exists in each adoptee's story. For every adoptive parent, there is a precious story of how a child entered his or her life. There is joy, celebration, responsibility, curiosity and amazement. Also, for every adopted child, there is an untold story. There is loss, memories, history and questions. Many feelings are beneath the surface, undetected by even the closest observer. As adoptive parents, we need to be our child's storyteller.

Wednesday, February 13, 4:00-5:30 pm
Grand River room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus

Betty Nguyen, CNN anchor

Nguyen is the co-founder of Help the Hungry, an organization that strives to alleviate global hunger by providing humanitarian relief to poverty-stricken families. We’re all searching for that sense of purpose and the answer to the question: Why am I here? While family and career may drive your life, helping those in need will change your life. You’ll be surprised how much you truly get from the act of giving. Nguyen takes audiences to some of the poorest regions of the world by sharing stories from her humanitarian aid trips.

Thursday, February 14, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Grand River room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus

A spectacular festival showcasing the traditional Asian New Year celebration. The program features a performance of the dragon dance, samples of Asian Pacific cuisines, arts and crafts, and cultural entertainment. The highlight of the program is the monologue “Inside the Model Minority,” written by Kennedy Management Resources, Inc., Home of Diversity Theatre. For some immigrants, the dreams of religious freedom, economic prosperity, and opportunity have historically attracted them to the United States. For others, it is to escape persecution, war, terrorism and poverty. The journey of Asian Americans in pursuing of the American dream will be told through the monologues.

Muslim Boarders

Wednesday, February 20, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Kirkhof Center, room 215/216, Allendale Campus

Presented by:
GVSU's Muslim Student Association
“Muslim Boarders” is a short documentary that shatters stereotypes by portraying an interesting fusion of Western culture and the Islamic world. The film features Muslim snowboarders who strive to maintain a balance between American youth culture and their Islamic identity. “Muslim Boarders” is an important observation of what growing up in America is like for a group who finds themselves both inside and outside of the dominant culture.

R.I.C.E. Conference, Realizing and Addressing Issues in our Culture and Education

Saturday, March 29, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

RICE Conference offers three relevant tracks, which include culture, education and health to educate and raise awareness on Asian issues that matter to our community. Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served. The conference is free and open to the public. Workshop information and on-line registration are available at

Sponsors: Asian Student Union, College of Education, College of Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Honors College, Housing, Office of Student Life, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Services - Pew Campus

For individuals requiring special accommodations and/or parking permits, please call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (616) 331-2177. For event information, contact Connie Dang at


Asian New Year Festival
Humanitarian Work: It Will Change Your Life
Asian Adoptees, Part II

Page last modified March 24, 2014